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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Good turnout for nutritious summer lunches

  • The Free Summer Lunch Program — funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, administrated by the Illinois State Broad of Education and coordinated by the Illinois Coalition of Community Services — is hitting full stride in our area this summer with the second free summer lunch site now open at the Carrier Mills-Stonefort grade school.
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  • The Free Summer Lunch Program — funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, administrated by the Illinois State Broad of Education and coordinated by the Illinois Coalition of Community Services — is hitting full stride in our area this summer with the second free summer lunch site now open at the Carrier Mills-Stonefort grade school.
    Nat Taylor, local outreach administrator for ICCS in the Southern 7 counties said last week the free lunch program at Shawneetown was serving at the Ohio Valley Baptist Church noon to 1 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
    The free lunch site in Carrier Mills was waiting for a cook to be available and this Monday, June 23, Montana Isom went online as the cook and the Carrier Mills site became fully operational.
    “We served 18 young people the first day,” Isom said. “We plan for word to get around and to see more and more participation from the public to drop by and have anyone 18 years old or younger have a hot, nutritious lunch for free.”
    This free lunch program stems from the recognized fact in the federal and state governments that a large number of young people are getting much of their nutrition intake from the school lunches during regular semesters and in the summer, may have a shortfall in nutrition. The free sumer lunch program aims at preventing that nutrition loss. The program is also open to anyone with children, whether they are Illinois residents or not. Families traveling through Illinois with an 18-year-old or younger children can stop in at the nearest free lunch site and get the kids a hot lunch, free of charge.
    This is the second year that the Carrier Mills-Stonefort grade school has hosted a free lunch site and the staff of volunteers is pleased with the initial response. The lunches meet the required USDA standards for nutrition quality and are served in the grade school cafeteria in a sanitary and friendly setting, with light music playing in the background to enhance the enjoyment of the event.
    Darnel Ellis of Carrier Mills was enjoying his lunch of chicken patties on a bun, green beans and oranges on Tuesday.
    “I enjoy eating healthy food and spending time with my friends,” he said, adding, “Also, I'm really thirsty!”
    Volunteers Montana Isom, Sammy Welling and Sami Isom were manning the serving line, with volunteers Sarah Ellis andAmy Doty and Christi Beck along with several of their family members were on hand to assist patrons enjoy the lunch. Beck, her husband Ryan were on hand as their children Natalie and Jeremy and a friend Donte Ellis were happily wolfing down Tuesdays lunch.
    “This is the second year we have come to this,” Christi Beck said. “The kids enjoy it a lot.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Montana Isom, a teacher aide at the Carrier Mills grade school helped with the summer lunch program last year.
    “This year they need me to cook and here I am. I was going to come to volunteer anyway but this year they need me to cook and I am glad to help. I do this because I like it.”

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